PDA

View Full Version : Racquet Technology: The Truth behind the mysteries....


Arthuro
06-09-2011, 07:54 PM
I have recently stumbled on a very interesting way to understand, describe in detail and know what racquet companies are actually doing when they market their technology.

In fact, some of the technology like Wilson Sporting Goods, articulating grommet systems is explained in great detail. http://www.google.com/patents?id=t4snAQAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=%22wilson+sporting%22+and+racquet&hl=en&ei=WIXxTciPA6Hg0QHx382PBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDMQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=%22wilson%20sporting%22%20and%20racquet&f=false (http://www.google.com/patents?id=t4snAQAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=%22wilson+sporting%22+and+racquet&hl=en&ei=WIXxTciPA6Hg0QHx382PBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDMQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=%22wilson%20sporting%22%20and%20racquet&f=false)

After discovering the patent for DonnayUSA XeneCore technology, I decided to do some investigating into Yonex, Prince, and Wilson racquet technology, and amazingly its all there. Yonex's new V-Core line, Prince's Exo3 and its return to a single mold for the Exo3 Tour lines. Wilson's top secret filament process that uses filament layering instead of a single air compressed bladder. Its all on google. In the coming weeks, I plan on using this new found information to write online summaries of the technology directly from the patents. No more fancy commercials with awesome pros, just the hopes of the technology from the filed patents. Some of the technologies we are paying top dollar for were filed over a decade ago. The slotted holes in the Wilson K Blade 98 for instance was filed back in June of 1997 by William Severa, who happens to have a lot of Wilson's innovations at hand.

If this is a project forum members would welcome please let me know.

Arthuro

spacediver
06-09-2011, 08:05 PM
looks like a good find! Thanks for your efforts, I'm sure there are many here who would appreciate a no BS account of all the hype

WinNCash
06-09-2011, 08:05 PM
That sounds horrendously interesting to me. :-)

UWBTennis
06-09-2011, 08:11 PM
In the coming weeks, I plan on using this new found information to write online summaries of the technology directly from the patents. No more fancy commercials with awesome pros, just the hopes of the technology from the filed patents. Some of the technologies we are paying top dollar for were filed over a decade ago. The slotted holes in the Wilson K Blade 98 for instance was filed back in June of 1997 by William Severa, who happens to have a lot of Wilson's innovations at hand.

If this is a project forum members would welcome please let me know.

Arthuro

Oh my god, please do. I frankly don't have the patience or the tech know how to understand the patents, your insight into what they reveal would be highly welcomed.

mctennis
06-09-2011, 08:45 PM
I'd like to read about these things as well when you post them. Thanks for doing the research and doing the summery.

Hidious
06-09-2011, 09:24 PM
It seems like there has always been two major school of thoughts about new technologies: they're either total marketing gimmicks or are actually present in the composition of a frame with a potential effect on playability and performance. Analyzing the issue rationally from a neutral position by understanding the patents sounds like the greatest of ideas. I personally think there is a gray zone between the "total ********" and "actual modern innovation" theories.

I'm particularly curious about all the crazy new materials they claim adding to the layup for more power, stability, solidness, etc. Microgel, GT, D30, Aerogel, 4D braiding, Liquidmetal, you name it. I highly doubt these materials are actually there. Aerogel in a racquet, really? Although slightly less far-fetched, i'm curious as to where i could find D30 in a frame, as tiny the quantity may be. Some posters here will swear they actually feel the D30's effect!

Very interesting thread, sir.

coachrick
06-09-2011, 09:34 PM
Tee hee, snicker, yawn(no offense OP)... :)

Technology =/= improvement

Features =/= benefit

Change =/= advancement

Patent descriptions must necessarily be excruciatingly detailed and just because the unobtainium is inserted at a 4 degree angle instead of the previous 5 degrees, there is no absolute 'gain' just because the process or material qualifies for a patent.

Good luck staying awake! ;)

Arthuro
06-09-2011, 09:38 PM
Tee hee, snicker, yawn(no offense OP)... :)

Technology =/= improvement

Features =/= benefit

Change =/= advancement

Patent descriptions must necessarily be excruciatingly detailed and just because the unobtainium is inserted at a 4 degree angle instead of the previous 5 degrees, there is no absolute 'gain' just because the process or material qualifies for a patent.

Good luck staying awake! ;)

The patents are boring, but given my area of study going through extremely dense text is not a real problem. Additionally, the patents do not present "objective" evidence about the gains of the technology only their "assumed" gains over existing technology and already dated patents. In these patents, Wilson Sporting Goods constantly refers to Prince and Dunlop for example.

I won't be able to tell anyone the absolute gains of the technology, but like the DonnayUSA patent, I can explain the technology and remove the mystique of Xenecore which is just a plastic foam initially proposed in a patent from 1978 by Cecka et al.

Nextman916
06-10-2011, 01:34 AM
I'd be very interested.

Power Player
06-10-2011, 07:30 AM
cool stuff. I figured the xenecore was some kind of shock absorbing foam that allowed the racquet to be filled solid throughout and kill vibrations. So even though it is not as sexy when you pull back the marketing, it is still cool to read about.
I'd imagine you could have some fun with Youtek as well..lol.

Arthuro
06-19-2011, 10:45 AM
I also wanted to mention that the greatest benefit to reading patents is that it tells us which technology has actually changed. I can tell you right now, that the patents for Prince and Yonex are new and were filed last year for their V core and Exo 3 technology. This suggests to me that there has been an actual change for better or worse in how they make their racquets. Wilson on the other hand has not filed a racquet patent for at least 4 or 5 years, which means that we are most likely dealing with the same technology and different composites, carbon black, or basalt rather than a new technological innovation per se. I am searching for head's technology now.

Arthuro
06-19-2011, 10:51 AM
This is the port inserts we know and love from the Rebel 95, Exo black etc.
http://www.google.com/patents?id=M5moAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=%22prince+sports%22&hl=en&ei=wDb-TZeOFom30AGGxfmNCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDIQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=%22prince%20sports%22&f=false

Here is the Exo Port hole technology patent. Notice when this was filed--2006.
http://www.google.com/patents?id=PKLNAQAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=%22prince+sports%22&hl=en&ei=wDb-TZeOFom30AGGxfmNCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCgQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=%22prince%20sports%22&f=false

For those wondering minds, the prince racquet is made in two pieces, not one.

http://www.google.com/patents?id=Vl_XAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA16&dq=%22prince+sports%22&hl=en&ei=yDf-TdnhEIjk0QGD09mIAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBzge#v=onepage&q&f=false

rp42195
06-19-2011, 04:02 PM
Arthuro: very nice information. Keep feeding us!

anirut
06-19-2011, 08:30 PM
Very interesting. Thanks for digging into the info for us all.

I mean, as you mentioned, objective improvement aside. Let's see how manufacturers bring "perceptive improvement" to peoples' minds.

I have a background in science but making my living in advertising, brand building and graphic design, so this is certainly a great interest to me.

tennis-kid
06-20-2011, 01:10 AM
I am glad that someone is actually investigating/ researching racquet technology. All racquet companies seem advertise that their racquet is the best. Most people including me don't understand fully about those technology. What I really want to know from you is one thing: Did you find any actual data you can compare between these technology? For example, racquet vibration test result between famous volkl organix VS. Prince EXO tour series or Head microgel.

Arthuro
06-20-2011, 04:58 AM
Not yet...I am still looking. It would be great if we had an engineer or physicist on the forums that would like to coordinate in this project.

corners
06-20-2011, 02:13 PM
Arthuro,

I think your idea of posting patents on this board is fantastic.


Maybe this thread can serve as the place for general discussion about racquet patents. People can compare technologies and make observations about the information disclosed in the patents in comparison to the marketing info, etc.

But I think each "technology" could use it's own thread as well. For example, a "Prince O3 Ports patents discussion" thread that contains the various Prince patents for O3, Ozone, Exo, etc. More focused discussion about particular designs or technologies and their on-court merits could take place in these threads.

FedExpress 333
06-20-2011, 02:28 PM
Do you mind doing microgel?

Arthuro
06-20-2011, 02:47 PM
I am having a hard time locating Head Racquet patents. Maybe they are foreign based? I will find them though, just will require more time.

ManuGinobili
06-22-2011, 01:42 AM
Damn Austrians!!

You sir are stirring up a storm on this board!

Arthuro
06-22-2011, 08:34 AM
How is that? I am assuming the storm comment is meant for me

pudelko
06-22-2011, 10:00 AM
How is that? I am assuming the storm comment is meant for me

I think what he is saying is that you are getting a lot of interest in the topic

6-2/6-4/6-0
06-22-2011, 10:41 AM
As someone who patents things in the cycling industry, I can say that patents are often as much marketing as anything else. In general I try to stay away from the bone-head stuff, but there is just as much money in changing the one or two things that make a concept/product/technology patentable versus another existing patent as there is in true novel innovation, so from time to time we end up in that category too.

I will actually argue that in most instances the things that people are patenting make rackets worse, rather than better. In some instances there is a manufacturing benefit, but usually it's about marketing and cost savings.

In fact, I've just decided to file a patent on tennis racket fabrication. The technology hasn't been used in the tennis industry and it requires some novel twists on how to fabricate everything, but most importantly I think the nice thing about it is that it actually has a functional benefit in the fabrication of a racket rather than being about filling voids with dust, or introducing a trace amount of a product to your matrix that would need to be present in dramatically higher quantities in order to be actually functional (but doing that would be impractical from a cost perspective).

Maybe I'm just crabby today. Too much thought going into how to make the world's best racing-bicycle chain watcher...

Power Player
06-22-2011, 11:43 AM
Man I would love to hear your insight on what bike tech is actually worth buying into. I just ride an old school steel frame road bike and am so far carbon free..lol.

corners
06-22-2011, 11:50 AM
Maybe I'm just crabby today. Too much thought going into how to make the world's best racing-bicycle chain watcher...

Maybe you are crabby, but your perspective and insight is definitely valuable to the thread!

6-2/6-4/6-0
06-22-2011, 12:02 PM
I ride new-school steel. There is a lot of good stuff in the bike world, the problem that I see is everyone is homogenizing and adding rubbish to 'differentiate' themselves. From really discerning riders, the best comments that I've gotten on a do-everything bike are the BMC team-level bikes. There are a lot of parallels to the bike and racket industry, but the engineering problems are absolutely different. I really believe that the best rackets in the world can be made with carbon, aramid, fiber glass, resin, good design, great manufacturing process and maybe some nano-technology (but not the stuff that's being used now).

AeroGel? Come one. It's cool from an engineering standpoint, but doesn't provide any real solutions that are present in the greater 'problem' of a tennis racket. Of course, I'm talking about 'players rackets', you might actually need some of the other nonsense to make a 9oz 19pt head-heavy racket with built-in power. But it seems to me that most of that stuff is detrimental to a good player's stick. My sense is that solutions to low-level rackets are carried through the line so that the top sticks have what the the low-end sticks have in order to make them more appealing. Plus, you can't beat 'new', right?

Maybe I'm jaded from being behind the curtain. Maybe some of the new stuff really works, but can anyone say they'd rather have a China-made YouTech Prestige than the original Austrian Prestige?

OldButGame
06-22-2011, 12:08 PM
As someone who patents things in the cycling industry, I can say that patents are often as much marketing as anything else. In general I try to stay away from the bone-head stuff, but there is just as much money in changing the one or two things that make a concept/product/technology patentable versus another existing patent as there is in true novel innovation, so from time to time we end up in that category too.

I will actually argue that in most instances the things that people are patenting make rackets worse, rather than better. In some instances there is a manufacturing benefit, but usually it's about marketing and cost savings.

In fact, I've just decided to file a patent on tennis racket fabrication. The technology hasn't been used in the tennis industry and it requires some novel twists on how to fabricate everything, but most importantly I think the nice thing about it is that it actually has a functional benefit in the fabrication of a racket rather than being about filling voids with dust, or introducing a trace amount of a product to your matrix that would need to be present in dramatically higher quantities in order to be actually functional (but doing that would be impractical from a cost perspective).

Maybe I'm just crabby today. Too much thought going into how to make the world's best racing-bicycle chain watcher...
Interesting thought;..might be supported by the way some 'new generations' of a particular line of racquet (with new tech) dont succeed nearly as well as the same version that preceeded it.

anirut
06-22-2011, 06:53 PM
Simple graphite wins, I suppose. :)

Arthuro
06-22-2011, 07:23 PM
^^^Speak truth...

6-2/6-4/6-0
06-22-2011, 07:46 PM
I'll argue against simple graphite being the best for everything - I like the option of glass and aramid in the blend. I would even experiment with other fibers - I think Wilson using Basalt is groovy. But I think being simple and using materials well is going to make a lot bigger difference than adding a dash of the seasoning of the week (as it were)...

vsbabolat
06-22-2011, 08:33 PM
^^^^
Did you know that Aegis maneged the Rossignol tennis division?
In 1973, the Rossignol Ski Corporation employed our company's engineers to manage their Tennis Racquet Division in Van Buren, Maine. Over the next decade, our team perfected the fine art of producing complex composite structures. Tennis legend, Mats Wilander, won many tournaments using racquets developed and manufactured in our Van Buren plant. Unfortunately, cheap Taiwanese labor challenged Made-in-USA profitability, and our engineers were forced to seek a more complex, less mass produced item; the bicycle.

http://www.aegisbicycles.com/about.html

6-2/6-4/6-0
06-22-2011, 08:43 PM
^^^^
Did you know that Aegis maneged the Rossignol tennis division?
In 1973, the Rossignol Ski Corporation employed our company's engineers to manage their Tennis Racquet Division in Van Buren, Maine. Over the next decade, our team perfected the fine art of producing complex composite structures. Tennis legend, Mats Wilander, won many tournaments using racquets developed and manufactured in our Van Buren plant. Unfortunately, cheap Taiwanese labor challenged Made-in-USA profitability, and our engineers were forced to seek a more complex, less mass produced item; the bicycle.

http://www.aegisbicycles.com/about.html

Yes, familiar with the Aegis story. Didn't know you worked there... Are they up to anything these days - haven't seen hide nor hair in a while from them...

vsbabolat
06-23-2011, 07:13 PM
Yes, familiar with the Aegis story. Didn't know you worked there... Are they up to anything these days - haven't seen hide nor hair in a while from them...

I did not work there. The only all graphite composite that they manufactured that I was aware of was the Rossignol F250. Then production pf the F250 switched to Rossignol's factory in France. All of the wood racquets and Wood racquets reinforced with graphite was made in Maine.

coachrick worked for Rossignol.
When I was a Rossignol rep starting in '79, I toured the wood racket facility in Van Buren, Maine. This was the last operating wood facility in the US, I believe.

Unfortunately, I haven't figured how to download my brainwaves to any file sharing service! :) Now that I think about it, that's probably a GOOD thing! ;)

meowmix
06-23-2011, 08:25 PM
I seem to remember reading about Liquidmetal in a science magazine a few years ago- IIRC, it was developed by the guys over at Caltech (smart guy there...). Pretty darn impressive stuff, and at the time, I could see plenty of practical applications for the metal.

That being said... I don't understand its use in Head's Liquidmetal line. It's a strong material, sure, and it's relatively scratchproof... but in a tennis racket? It's not like there was anywhere NEAR enough liquidmetal in the rackets to make a structural difference (if there was... LM Rads wouldn't be selling for 70 bucks...).   

zepphead33
06-24-2011, 02:58 PM
i like this thread

mctennis
06-27-2011, 06:38 PM
I agree with most of the technology gimmicks they seem to put in tennis racquets really aren't helping the racquet nor the player. The better players need less gimmicks. Less skilled players are always trying to make up their lack of skills with some sort of magic technology.

mctennis
06-27-2011, 06:51 PM
Simple graphite wins, I suppose. :)
Always been my favorite type material in a racquet. Simple contents + good player skills= better tennis

Power Player
06-27-2011, 07:05 PM
Been looking at pro kennex sticks lately. I think they actually make tech that works in terms of comfort. Be interesting in seeing what the OP digs up.

skiracer55
06-27-2011, 07:20 PM
cool stuff. I figured the xenecore was some kind of shock absorbing foam that allowed the racquet to be filled solid throughout and kill vibrations. So even though it is not as sexy when you pull back the marketing, it is still cool to read about.
I'd imagine you could have some fun with Youtek as well..lol.

...and its technology is D30 gel, which you can look up on the web. Before Head discovered D30, Spyder started using it for padding in some GS and SL suits. Why? D30 is usually fairly soft and flexible, under impact it stiffens...so the pads, and therefore the suit, stay flexible until needed.

So why D30 in a tennis racket? Idea is that the D30 is inside the frame, the frame stays fairly flexible, which is good (Head says) for touch with low impact shots, stiffens with greater impact...which stiffens the frame and provides greater control on hard hit shots.

So...go ahead and dig into the patents, but most manufacturers aren't shy about talking up their technologies and explaining why each is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you look in the Head section on TW, you'll find pretty much the explanation I gave for Head's use of D30.

So, yeah, that's somewhere between just the facts, ma'am, and marketing hype, but it's probably reasonable objective. The question is, does this feature work for you, or is it just brain candy?

A similar deal would be Prince's Exo technology:

"What is EXO3 Technology?

A high-tech patented racquet design utilizing large holes and String Suspension Inserts to deliver a superior effective hitting area compared to conventional racquets with the same headsize.

How Does EXO3 Technology Work?

Strings are completely liberated from restrictive, response-strangling grommets, allowing the strings to respond more freely - even at the outer edges of the string plane for balls you may hit off-center.

How does EXO3 Technology Benefit You?

A larger, more consistent hitting area- at ANY headsize - allowing all players the advantage to take their game to the next level. Now, even shots hit off center will feel and respond as through they were hit direct center. "

So EXo3 produces a larger than life...excuse me, larger than normal sweetspot for a given head size. A patent isn't necessarily going to tell me if that's true or not (it'll tell me if it's theoretically true), but some kind of bench tests might. But I'm inclined to give Prince the benefit of the doubt. They probably did a bunch of prototyping and testing, and so forth, to prove to themselves that the theory (EXO3 produces a larger sweet spot), because if EXO3 didn't do what they thought, they'd probably dump it.

A really interesting thread would be Racket Technologies That Failed Miserably, where the Two Grips is Better Than One frame would be my personal choice. In the past, my feeling is that racket manufacturers would just wing it with a new design largely because they didn't have CAD/CAM, modeling, sophisticated testing and so forth, to help them avoid putting out stuff and then finding out it was junk. I think today's manufacturers have a lot more help up front to avoid mistakes...in the sense that what they claim about what a technology is and how it works is probably fairly close to the truth.

The real iffy part, IMHO, comes in the "How Does [insert name of technology here] benefit you?" And I think that's iffy in two ways:

- Does [insert name of technology here] really do what it purports? And if so, is that automagically going to benefit you? To sort of pick at the above argument, if a larger sweet spot is going to automagically move you up an NTRP level...why stick with the same head size? Why not just move up to a bigger head racket?

One of the interesting aspects of this is that I believe EXO3 is a not so distant descendent of the O Port technology, which came out back in 2005 or so. Back then, my coach, who was sponsored by Prince, said that the O Ports were coolio because there was less air resistance and it was easier to swing through the shot and accelerate the racket head. So what happened in the intervening years? Other than the Prince marketing department...and this is just speculation, I have no reason to think this is actually the case...did a "Less filling? Or Tastes great?" survey and found out that the Target Audience didn't give two hoots about swinging through faster (because maybe they realized that nothing was going to help them do that) but Larger Sweet Spot But Same Head size...almost the same head size as what the pros use (aha...there's the reason) was this year's #1 requirement.

- But let's just say that the claim (what it is, and what it does) is right on the money, which I think is at least most of the case, most of the time, see above. The real question is...not for every player on every court, but for you, potential new racket buyer...is The Benefit going to make you better? It's almost a given that a larger sweet spot is always a wonderful thing, but maybe it's not. IMHO, if I contact the ball way out on the outer reaches of the sweet spot, no matter how larger or small, I'm probably going to get some kind of shot back over the net and in the court. But it's probably not going to be optimal, in terms of spin, pace, or placement. To garner those advantages, I really need to contact the ball in the center of the sweet spot.

So there it is. I'm sure I'll get a ton of dissent re this post, but that wouldn't be anything new, would it? Obviously, demoing a new technology is going to help you understand and feel it, and possibly realize its stated benefits...or is it? We all want the latest, game-changing gear, and we'd like to think we're objective, but lots of times, we've kind of already made up our minds. So in the middle of a demo session, maybe we hit two or three unusually good balls, which immediately places a thought balloon over our heads that reads "Golly...this [insert name of technology here] actually is insert description of what the technology is and how it works, and Howdy Bob Ned, I've got to go out and immediately purchase one of these because I can definitely tell that this racket will take my game to the next level because of [insert benefit of technolgy here]!"

So...I'm just saying. And have I ever done anything like that? Never! Well, there was this one racket I tried, and it had a way different handle, kind of curved like a snake ("Watch your shots snake their way past your opponent!"), and you know what?...

anirut
06-28-2011, 02:39 AM
^
Nice one!

skiracer55
06-28-2011, 06:51 AM
^
Nice one!

...just as a followup, yep, it's often difficult to separate honest to John technology advancements from marketing hype about same. But there continue to be technology improvements in rackets in strings, for sure. The real question is, are we man (or woman) enough to take advantage of them?

My winter sport is Masters alpine ski racing, and it's a very similar deal there. The old, straight-sided wooden skis were a bear to turn...and then to get to stop turning. Then came shaped skis, where the tips and tails are relatively wide and the waist is relatively narrow. That combined with modern composite materials technology means that if you put a shaped ski on edge and get it to bend, the ski will follow the curve made by its shape...and presto, you get a teriffic carved turn.

But the keys in above equation are that to make this gee whiz stuff work, you have to put the ski on edge and make it bend. I've seen all manner of skiers with their skis perfectly flat on the snow, swiveling their feet with no direction change, going "Wow! These shaped skis are totally tubular!"

So it's similar with tennis racket technolgy. You can pay big bucks for a techno wizard bat, but it's still a tool, and you have to use the tool properly to realize its enhanced potential...there are no silver bullets. Let's say a racket moves throught he air more easily due to EXO3, allowing you to accelerate the racket head, brush up through the ball, create more spin and pace, all that good stuff. But let's also say that this technology can only speed up your swing by 5%. If you have a low speed swing with very little acceleration...you're probably not getting the pace and spin you'd like, so you switch to this magical stick that improves your swing speed by 5%...and it's improvement, which you may notice, but a pretty minimal one.

On the other hand, you have a relatively fast swing, lots of acceleration and brushing up...and your new magic stick improves your swing speed by 5%...which is a lot because you're already swinging fast, and you notice a marked improvement.

So that's my sermon for today. Yes, racket technology can help...but it helps most who help themselves by using the tool to its optimum effect...

anirut
06-28-2011, 07:21 AM
Yes, racket technology can help...but it helps most who help themselves by using the tool to its optimum effect...

That's what a lot of players aren't willing to realize.

skiracer55
06-28-2011, 07:32 AM
That's what a lot of players aren't willing to realize.

...if you haven't already seen it:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=375284

VGP
06-28-2011, 07:34 AM
Thought I'd make a compilation of some submitted patent applications that coalesced into one of my favorite frames.....

http://i53.tinypic.com/25sot1d.jpg

Centryx
06-28-2011, 08:02 AM
if you read the basis for the invention of the Prince port technology they state that the racquets are more stable and stiff compared to racquets that have holes drilled thru for grommets. Does this seem like a lie to anyone else? Wouldn't the racquet be more stable with more density at every point on the racquet comparative to one that has the port technology especially on the sides. If you remove the ports the thickness on a tour is minimal just my 2 cents

skiracer55
06-28-2011, 08:28 AM
if you read the basis for the invention of the Prince port technology they state that the racquets are more stable and stiff compared to racquets that have holes drilled thru for grommets. Does this seem like a lie to anyone else? Wouldn't the racquet be more stable with more density at every point on the racquet comparative to one that has the port technology especially on the sides. If you remove the ports the thickness on a tour is minimal just my 2 cents

...makes a lot more sense to me than Prince's claim. So we've heard that Bigger Holes allows the racket to move through the air more easily, that it produces a larger sweetspot, and that it makes the racket more stable and stiff...how about all of the above? Or "It's a floorwax...and a dessert topping, too!"

dozu
06-28-2011, 08:45 AM
simple graphite does NOT win... today's stronger material makes a big difference... nano carbon is several times stronger than traditional graphite, resulting in better stability and responsiveness.

try any 'simple graphite' rackets... they are all dead in the upper hoop... they don't respond well if the incoming ball is hit real hard (and you give up a short ball).

technology is real... or we should all play with wood and forget about it.

cknobman
06-28-2011, 10:50 AM
Regardless of technology a racquet is only going to be as good as the person wielding it. Best advice is to go with a racquet that you feel comfortable and satisfied with.

For me I play with the Prince EXO3 racquets and dont give two squats if their claims are true or not because I like them and I feel that they suit my game. I started out using the Oport tech and went to Wilson KFactor, Dunlop 4D, Babolat Aero and Woofer and ended up going right back to Prince EXO3 (not that different than the Oports) because I preferred it.

6-2/6-4/6-0
06-28-2011, 11:29 AM
simple graphite does NOT win... today's stronger material makes a big difference... nano carbon is several times stronger than traditional graphite, resulting in better stability and responsiveness.

try any 'simple graphite' rackets... they are all dead in the upper hoop... they don't respond well if the incoming ball is hit real hard (and you give up a short ball).

technology is real... or we should all play with wood and forget about it.

Technology is real, for the most part. No one is saying that there isn't a technical difference with these things. What's questionable is the benefits.

And for the record, nano-carbon means that the fabric is enhanced with Carbon Nano-tubes in the resin that the fabric is impregnated with. Here's the rub though - Carbon Nano-tubes are really expensive - like $50 a gram if you are getting them in massive volume and that price has come down dramatically. The experts that I have worked with say that for an effective difference to really 'feel' the nano-tubes you would need to dope the resin at about 5%. So if you do the math: 330g racket with 1/3 of the weight being resin would give you 110g of resin, so if you dope it at 5% that means 5.5g or $275 in high-quality carbon nano-tubes. That means that either the companies are 'taking liberties' with the benefit of the very real technology or they are incredible philanthropists and selling us their 'nano-carbon' rackets at a substantial loss...

There are some great technologies that are incorporated in tennis rackets - I'll pick on Head and Dunlop for a second and single out Aerogel and LiquidMetal - that are used in such infinitesimal quantities and in a way that they really doesn't do much of anything for the playability of the racket. I'm not saying the rackets didn't play different from their predecessors without that technology, but the change probably had more to do with other changes to the layup, resin, fabrication, etc. than it did the addition of 1-2g of Aerogel that were added to the milieu.

The question that I have is would you buy the rackets without the marketing hyped technology - if someone made just plain great sticks using relatively standard materials and great fabrication would you pay $200 a frame or whatever it cost to make those rackets really well? Or would you buy the racket with the gimmick and the big endorsement (Fed/Nadal/Murray/etc.)? Market experience suggests that most will go for the gimmick and big name 9 times out of 10 and justify it that the big company has the best R&D budget so they must be making the best racket.

Never used one, but maybe a company like Vantage is an exception to this rule? Didn't notice a lot of gimmicks when I checked out their site the other day. Volkl seems pretty solid on the performance v gimmick ratio as well.

skiracer55
06-28-2011, 11:37 AM
Regardless of technology a racquet is only going to be as good as the person wielding it. Best advice is to go with a racquet that you feel comfortable and satisfied with.

For me I play with the Prince EXO3 racquets and dont give two squats if their claims are true or not because I like them and I feel that they suit my game. I started out using the Oport tech and went to Wilson KFactor, Dunlop 4D, Babolat Aero and Woofer and ended up going right back to Prince EXO3 (not that different than the Oports) because I preferred it.

...and I agree. All the manufacturers have pretty zippy technology, but they have different ways of creating features and benefits, and there is, I submit, distinct "feel" to a Head racket, which I prefer, that differs from the feel of a Prince, as cknobman notes above.

For an example, let's just take racket technologies that prevent unwanted vibrations. For Head, it's currently "Innegra...which is integrated into the racquet for shock absorption and improved stability. As a result vibrations are reduced by up to 17% on ball impact for improved control and precision -- protecting the player from the forces of a ball impact."


For Prince, you'd have to read between the lines, but it's probably EXO3...a larger sweetspot is probably less likely to produce unwanted vibration.

For Wilson it's BLX: "BL=Basalt. Basalt is a natural volcanic rock. It can be used in manufacturing where it is made into fine gold fibers with incredible vibration resistance. These new fibers are woven longitudinally with [K}arophite Black to create one of the most advanced composites in the industry."

So the Big 3 are all doing stuff to save your arm and improve your game...but they're doing it in slightly different ways, ergo, they all have a distinctive feel within the brand that they use to separate the brand from the competition...interesting stuff...

julian
07-05-2011, 09:06 AM
Any Vcore patents ?

Arthuro
07-05-2011, 09:29 AM
^^^I posted the V core technology above. Or at least I thought I did...let me check.

Arthuro
07-05-2011, 09:32 AM
http://www.google.com/patents?id=lGDwAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA16&dq=yonex+tennis&hl=en&ei=RjwTTo6VILCp0AHQ64z8DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=yonex%20tennis&f=false

julian
07-05-2011, 09:35 AM
http://www.google.com/patents?id=lGDwAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA16&dq=yonex+tennis&hl=en&ei=RjwTTo6VILCp0AHQ64z8DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=yonex%20tennis&f=false

From some reasons I do have some interest in
1.Comparison of Vcore with Babolat racket
(see a case of Wozniacki)
2.Low swingweight numbers for Vcore-307
compared to Swingweight: 331 for one of Babolat rackets
If you can help with # 2 I would appreciate it
If you prefer to use an E-mail my E-mail address below
I appreciate your link above

julian
07-05-2011, 09:48 AM
http://www.google.com/patents?id=lGDwAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA16&dq=yonex+tennis&hl=en&ei=RjwTTo6VILCp0AHQ64z8DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=yonex%20tennis&f=false

How do you like
Tecnifibre X-One Bi-Phase 18g?

Arthuro
07-05-2011, 03:21 PM
How do you like
Tecnifibre X-One Bi-Phase 18g?

I love it!!! I have always been a Tecnifibre fan...the 18g gives me more bite on the ball with all the same power and playability of a thicker gauge. I think sometimes our "machismo" makes us want to play with a thicker and higher tension without thinking of the physical and scientific realities of these strings.

If you can deal with the durability (5-6 2-3 hour sessions0 or (10-15 hours of play) then the benefits of a lower gauged multi outweighs the consequences.

AlpineCadet
07-05-2011, 11:06 PM
How would I find the Head YouTek patent info?

Arthuro
07-06-2011, 12:16 AM
I am looking for it myself.

Arthuro
07-26-2011, 11:48 PM
Here is the most recent patent I saw from Prince. Notice this was filed in 2006, but not rewarded a patent until 2011. More proof that what are playing with is not "pro level "technology.

Prince plans to eliminate grommets...http://www.google.com/patents?hl=en&lr=&vid=USPAT7935286&id=PKLNAQAAEBAJ&oi=fnd&dq=%22prince+sports%22+and+%22ports%22&printsec=abstract#v=onepage&q&f=false

origmarm
07-27-2011, 02:37 AM
^^^^
Did you know that Aegis maneged the Rossignol tennis division?
In 1973, the Rossignol Ski Corporation employed our company's engineers to manage their Tennis Racquet Division in Van Buren, Maine. Over the next decade, our team perfected the fine art of producing complex composite structures. Tennis legend, Mats Wilander, won many tournaments using racquets developed and manufactured in our Van Buren plant. Unfortunately, cheap Taiwanese labor challenged Made-in-USA profitability, and our engineers were forced to seek a more complex, less mass produced item; the bicycle.

http://www.aegisbicycles.com/about.html

Didn't Aegis go under in 2008? I'm pretty sure that I heard something to that effect but...

OP - This thread is a really interesting idea, hope you manage to interpret some of these in a meaningful way.

Orig